NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, March 2012
7 Little Word Annoyances and Their Easy Fixes
By Nancy DeMarte,
Columnist, Office Talk, Sarasota PCUG, Inc., FL
March 2011 issue, Sarasota PC Monitor

ndemarte (at) Verizon.net (click to email author)

Below is a collection of frustrating things that can happen when using Microsoft Word. These annoyances can occur in any version of Word although most are geared to Word 2007 and 2010. In Word 2003, the fix-it steps may be different.

Annoyance 1 -- You accidentally press the Caps Lock key on your keyboard before typing a paragraph. When you finish, you find everything in capital letters. The Fix: Rather than retyping the whole paragraph, highlight the text, then click the "Change Case" button (Aa), located on the Home tab in the Font group. Click "Sentence case" to transform your paragraph into normal sentences.

Annoyance 2 -- You create a party invitation with a light blue background (Page Layout tab - Page Color). But when you print it, the background is white.

NT COLOR = "#0000ff">The Fix: Office has set Word to not print full page background colors, probably to save users from wasting ink. You can, however, make the colored background print. Click the Office button, then Word Options -- Display. Put a check mark next to "Print background colors and images," then click OK. Until you remove this checkmark, all colored backgrounds will print.

Annoyance 3 -- You're working on a document where you've set the text size to be a fairly small 10 points. But you find that the text is too small to view comfortably while you're typing.

The Fix: Drag the Zoom slider located in the bottom right corner of the Word window to the right to enlarge the screen view of the text. When printed, the text will be 10 points no matter how big it appears on the screen.

Annoyance 4 -- You find that the spaces between lines of text in your document are wider than you want.

The Fix: If all the spaces are wider than expected, you can change the line spacing for the whole document at once. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Select -- All to highlight all the text. Next click the Line Spacing button in the Paragraph group and select 1.0 for single-spacing or one of the other choices.

Note: Word will not remove extra space after paragraphs when you choose a line spacing size. To remove extra space after a paragraph, select the paragraph before the extra space, click the Line Spacing button and choose "Remove Space After Paragraph." A more permanent way to create no extra space between paragraphs is to open the Paragraph group dialog box launcher (small diagonal arrow) on the Home tab and put a checkmark in front of "Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style."

Annoyance 5 -- Every time you type an email or web address into a document, it turns into a clickable hyperlink with underlined blue text, even if that isn't your intention.

The Fix: The quickest fix is to right click the address and select "Remove Hyperlink." But this is only a one time remedy. To remove this action permanently, click the Windows button, then this sequence: Word Options -- Proofing -- AutoCorrect Options -- AutoFormat As You Type. Remove the checkmark next to "Internet and Network paths with hyperlinks" and click OK.

Annoyance 6 -- You find that as you type, distracting wavy red and green lines show up under words and phrases.

The Fix: Word is set to check spelling (red lines) and grammar (green lines) as you type. This is another Proofing option which comes enabled from the factory. To turn off one or both of these features, go to Word Options (Office button - Word Options) and click Proofing. Remove the checkmarks next to "Mark grammar errors as you type" and "Check spelling as you type." You can always check spelling and grammar after your document is complete by clicking Spelling & Grammar at the left end of the Review tab.

Several of these fixes involve the settings found in the Options area of the Office 2007 menu (File menu in 2010). Options are available for all the Office programs (Word Options, Excel Options, Access Options, etc.) These default settings were determined by interviews with thousands of people who use Office regularly in the workplace. If you find that the factory settings are causing you more trouble than help, changing them is a simple task. All Office users should take a personal tour of the Options menus, which resemble this Word Options window with the AutoCorrect box open:

Annoyance 7 -- You often save documents to the same folder which is buried within other folders in My Documents. It takes several clicks to find this folder each time you want to open or save a document to it.

Fix 1: You can find almost any folder on your Windows Vista or 7 computer by typing its name into the Start Menu search box just above the Start button. Often it takes only a letter or two before the folder appears in the search results. On the downside, you have to do this each time you want to open the folder.

Fix 2: to make any folder immediately available is to add it to the Favorites section of the navigation pane. This pane appears on the left side of any explorer window where you are viewing, opening or saving files and folders. To make a folder a Favorite, start by creating or opening a file, like a document, and click Save As, which opens the Save As dialog box. This reveals the navigation pane on the left, showing a list of possible places to save the file. Navigate to the folder you want to make a favorite so that it is the last item in the history bar across the top. Then right click the word Favorites in the left pane. From the drop down menu, click "Add current location to Favorites." Your special folder will now appear in the Favorites list. It will also appear in the Favorites list of the other MS Office programs on your computer, such as Excel and PowerPoint. To remove a folder from Favorites, right click the folder and select Remove.

Using a computer should be fun as well as useful. Take a few minutes to think what your personal computer annoyances are and try to find fixes for them. Customizing your programs makes using the computer much more enjoyable and efficient. ??

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